Impy’s LeaderShop: Communication

After almost three years of Impy’s LeaderShop being on hiatus, it’s back! This week: Communication.

Impy’s LeaderShop is back, baby!

Maybe not for long, but here it is. I always enjoyed teaching other people in this community. I might not be the most well-rounded leader, and I don’t always follow my own advice, but it’s sort of a case of “do as I say, not as I do.”

I think there’s several key points of leadership and community membership that are vital for the survival and improvement of KSI. I think these ideas can be applied outside of KSI as well to improve the civic clubs, activities, or professions you take part in every day.

This lesson focuses on communication. It’s such a cliche, but communication is everything.

We aren’t the aliens from Independence Day, and we aren’t psychics that can read minds. We relay on the written and spoken word to collaborate to make KSI great.

In KSI, actually, we are at a disadvantage. They say most communication is nonverbal — body language, expressions, etc. Unfortunately, we don’t see that.

And that sucks. And too many people aren’t aware of how communication needs to be tailored for an online-only platform.

Hints are difficult to give and receive. Assumptions are made and lead people into head-on collisions where responsibilities are taken and tempers can run high.

It’s extremely important to say what you mean, and mean what you say. The person on the other end of your Xbox microphone can’t do any more than read what you tell them.

For leaders, you have to make sure responsibilities are explicitly given and lines are drawn. The divisional and squad leadership teams involve a lot of moving parts, and you don’t want anyone on that team unsure of what their role or task is.

Maybe it’s not hosting a game night, and that might seem insignificant, but over time, forgetting game nights makes recruits and other members feel unwelcome.

Maybe it’s not getting with a recruit in a timely fashion. That recruit might not stick around. Don’t assume someone will get with them to get them into the community. Explicitly talk about who is doing what so people and tasks don’t fall through the cracks.

It’s for this same reason that, as the community and its members evolve, we have moved to text conversations on Kik and Discord.

I recommend a majority of communication be done through voice chat on Xbox. You voice is more powerful than your Kik message. It carries more weight, shows a willingness to spend time to communicate, and allows you to be more thorough.

Conversations on Xbox back-and-forth are far more thorough than any conversation you can have on a messaging app. You can even address tone, mood, and spot a moment of hesitance or unease that you couldn’t through a message.

It’s important not to get lazy as you work toward leading your squad, division, or even this community.

Assumptions lead to dropped responsibilities and over time, that erodes the members’ trust in us as leaders. We have to communicate effectively to create the atmosphere we want here, both to our fellow leaders and to the members we have to serve.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions — just be polite. Give people time and respect, and communication can go a long way to solving problems in KSI, and if done right, can eliminate many of them before they happen.

To see other LeaderShop topics, follow the following links.

Impy’s LeaderShop: Holiday Edition

Impy’s LeaderShop: Activity

Impy’s LeaderShop: Breaks

Impy’s LeaderShop: Problems

Impy’s LeaderShop: Sharing

Impy’s LeaderShop: Progress

Impy’s LeaderShop: Reliability

Impy’s LeaderShop: Vision

Impy’s LeaderShop: Determination

Impy’s LeaderShop: Positivity

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